Ayame Slithers Onto The Scene
Fruits Basket Episode 13
The introductions are coming thick and fast with Ayame, Yuki’s older brother showing up this week in Fruits Basket. Much like the original anime, Ayame is a larger than life character who certainly takes a bit of getting used to. His incessant prattle fills a lot of the episode but in-between the absurd stories and recollections there’s a genuine attempt at an older brother trying to make a connection.
It is characters like Ayame that prevent Fruits Basket from feeling too trite. As much as he wants a relationship with his younger brother, Ayame is who he is, and his personality is pretty much incompatible with Yuki regardless of his desire. Even when he’s trying to bridge the gap he manages to unintentionally dig a deeper hole between them.
Fortunately, it isn’t game over. This is a starting point where Tohru meets him and sees the current state of the relationship. Ayame is reflecting on it and by the end of the episode Yuki has also begun to move. While they aren’t exactly building a bridge and getting over all their baggage, there’s at least the first stage of planning being put in place for future discussion.
Another positive is the way this scenario helped to reinforce Haru’s relationship with Yuki. While he only appears in two short scenes, his actions off screen play a significant role in how the episode plays out and Yuki thanking Haru at the end and Haru’s genuine delight is a heart-warming sight to see. The episode also establishes the relationship that exists between Ayame, Shigure and Hatori fairly solidly even though we only see all three characters together very briefly toward the end of the episode.
There’s a lot of set up here for future developments and so as an episode, this one felt somewhat lacking, and yet it has given us so much room for growth. I really enjoyed seeing how this played out in this version of the story.
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Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.